The special exhibition “Bodies and Shadows: Caravaggio and His Legacy” will open for LACMA members on November 8 and to the general public on November 11. In addition to eight original paintings by Caravaggio himself, the show will display four dozen paintings by other artists influenced by Caravaggio’s hallmark narrative style.
You can appreciate the works you see even more if you take advantage of the excellent archives at RAI.tv. RAI is a network broadcast services managed by the Italian government and has edited and uploaded many of its art features for video on demand on the Internet. The archives at www.rai.tv are advertiser supported and free to view. It also features slideshows of art by Caravaggio and other Renaissance artists.
The programming about Caravaggio is extensive enough to view every weekend until the LACMA exhibition concludes on February 10. There are over three hundred clips and dozens of full length broadcasts. These also present an opportunity to go behind the scenes with conservationists and see how historic works by Caravaggio are restored and maintained in Italy. A good example is the feature “Il restauro di un Caravaggio: la Resurrezione di Lazarro.” Other programs present good examples of Caravaggio’s distinctive illumination techniques and ways the artist was able to emulate moonlight on canvas.
The search pages and programming are in Italian language. Many art terms such as fresco and chiaroscuro are actually Italian words, so frequent museum visitors will get a lot out of the material. The Italian word “Cerca” means “Search.” There is a field for this in the upper center page of RAI.tv so all you need to do to access the Caravaggio archives is type “Caravaggio” into the field.
There will also be a special lecture by art historian Andrew Graham-Dixon about Caravaggio’s life of intrigue on November 11, when the show opens to the public. The 1 p.m. program will take place in Bing Auditorium on the LACMA campus and is free. The special exhibition requires advance tickets, available at this link. Caravaggio and His Legacy will also be featured in drawing classes offered as part of LACMA’s Evenings for Educators program on December 4.